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Fibroid Embolisation - what is involved

This is a non-surgical technique performed under light sedation. No general anaesthetic is required. A small catheter (tube) is inserted in the groin, information pills into the femoral artery (the main blood vessel supplying the leg). This does not hurt.

Small particles are introduced through the catheter into the uterine artery, (the artery that supplies blood to the uterus/womb) and they block the blood supply to the fibroids. The fibroids thus starved of blood shrivel and die over the next few months.

Hospital stay is normally only 1 night.

As there is no surgery, recovery is much quicker and women return to work within 2-5 weeks. Fertility is maintained and a number of women have had successful pregnancies after embolisation. This technique is also potentially safer than surgery as it is much less invasive and there is less risk of infection and other side effects.

For further information, see the embolisation process.